You know we have one tv, right? And one channel? Uh-huh. When I tell people that, I’m almost always met with “My husband loves his sports and could never survive without cable.” Well, my husband loves his sports, too. So much so that he’s a high school football, junior high basketball, and high school track coach. And we don’t have cable. Here he is to tell you why.
I want cable.
I like sports, history, current events, old movies and nearly everything on tv. Someday I will have cable, but the timing is not right just yet.
It is hard for people to understand in today’s instant gratification world how I can go without some form of cable or dish. People ask if I saw the highlights or if I saw that movie, then I get the “You don’t have cable!? What do you watch? How do you do it?” Usually the questions come in that order and at least once a week during school.
There are several answers I give after my students get done rolling their eyes because everyone has cable. The first answer is that I am cheap. Can we afford it? Well maybe, but I am on a teacher’s salary and my wife is a stay at home mom bringing in some money from her very part-time online work. When we started adding up what it would cost for cable per year it was excruciating. It became clear very quickly that with the channels that would make tv worth it, I could spend $360 to $1,200 a year. Not worth it.
So then it becomes the question of needs vs. wants. Cable is not a necessity. I have survived without it for 6 years. Part of that time our regular antenna was out so I had no TV at all. Somehow I survived that, too. I would rather put an extra house payment down to get out of debt, or set aside the money for something we need, because there’s always something.
Also, I simply don’t have time for TV. I love sports. I have played and coached them for most of my life. You would think I would want to watch them on TV, but the same love of sports that draws me to them keeps me from watching them. I am usually coaching, as in three sports per year. If I am not coaching, someone in my family is playing a sport. If I am not watching my kids or coaching, then there is probably a niece or nephew or someone from our small town playing something. We support them.
If by some chance I am not at a game in person, then one of my own kids is asking to shoot baskets, play catch, play football, push a swing, go to the park, go swimming, read a book, or a million other things. By the time sports are practiced and played and the kids are in bed, it is time for me to be in bed also. Don’t forget the “honey do” list! That takes some time from the day, and mine never seems to get smaller. You’d be surprised at how fast the day fills up when TV is not the main event.
If there is a big event like the Super Bowl that isn’t on CBS (our one consistent channel), Amy will often whip up a few appetizers and we’ll trade food for tv at a friend’s house. If we can’t make it work? No big deal. If there is one thing that is as exciting as watching the Super Bowl it is playing it live in the back yard with the little ones that are growing up so fast.
Life is so much more than TV. Want to unwind? You can for free! Reading a book or watching for free on line can be just as relaxing (or more) as watching tv. Just the other night Amy and I caught up with our favorite sitcom via the marvel that is the internet.
Someday I will have the money and the time and I will sink into the recliner and work some couch potato marathon. Not right now. No cable yet. Tomorrow? We will see.
Sure enough, I married a good one! It’s not wrong to have cable and enjoy tv, if that’s your thing. It’s just not our thing. When making choices about where to spend our limited funds, cable got the boot, for now. We’ve learned to embrace this season without tv and live it up!
What fun things do you enjoy when you’re not watching tv?